Karen Handel joins attacks on Jon Ossoff with debut ad

Republican Karen Handel joined the growing list of candidates in the race for Georgia's Sixth District attacking Democrat Jon Ossoff as attention and donations for his bid swell.

The former Georgia Secretary of State released her first campaign ad on Thursday, a digital ad that focuses largely on the 30-year-old Democrat who is threatening to upend the race to represent a suburban Atlanta district that's been in GOP control since Jimmy Carter's presidency.

It slams Ossoff as a "lightweight liberal" and ties him to the Affordable Care Act that Price - now Trump's health secretary - is charged with overhauling.

It is the latest in a string of attacks by Republicans and Democrats targeting Ossoff, one of 18 candidates in the April 18 special election. With more than $3 million in donations and a groundswell of support from activists, he's looking increasingly likely to lock up a spot in the June 20 runoff.

It is also the first ad from Handel, a two-time statewide elected official who was the presumed frontrunner in the race. Her other GOP rivals, though, have already far outspent her in a race that has already commanded nearly $4 million in ad dollars.

Republicans have blasted Ossoff as inexperienced, mocked his college videos dressed as Han Solo and assailed his work for Al Jazeera as a documentary filmmaker. Democrats have slammed him for being the hand-picked candidate despite no elected experience.

Handel took little risk with her ad. Republicans locked in a zero-sum game for one of the two runoff slots have been reluctant to hit each other, but Ossoff has emerged as a no-lose target. It could benefit him, as well, as these attacks position him as the Democrat to beat.

Watch the ad here:



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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.